Saturday, February 17, 2018


I'm officially in limbo with a timeline. On Wednesday, following a lot of encouragement from BnB and Grey (including Grey editing a draft of an email), I reached out to the CEO of the company I interviewed with. I didn't expect any follow up, so I was pleased when I received a response that evening:
We should be wrapping up this stage around the end of next week and will be in touch then with next steps.
We really enjoyed meeting you and hearing about your work to date!
Feel free to interrupt as you will.

Since calming down (read no longer obsessive checking my email) and on the heels of getting some responses to the Pain Letters I've sent out (FYI: Those work!) as well as arranging informational/informal interviews with a couple of companies that has resulted in an offer for a freelancing opportunity, I've been thinking more about the power of wins, even the smallest ones, in helping motive people. In the business world this is referred to as "Reward Power" but we see this mindset in our daily lives too.

Yet despite this knowledge, we live in an era where there's a mentally of using the stick more than the carrot to motivate people. Just open the newspaper to get the latest examples of this form of motivation, with stress-inducing tactics being used daily to promote the wants of those arguing. And yet, there's so much data about how these tactics rarely work without the coupling of some form of positive reenforcement. That without the wins, the consequences will simply backfire.

On Thursday I had a phone conference with an assessor who observed He-Beat. One of the major concerns the Beats's old daycare brought up was ADHD and an inability to follow basic directions. I came to the meeting armed with information and questions. So imagine my complete shock when I learned that the assessor did not have these concerns but also that neither did He-Beat's current teacher. That not only has separating the Beats been a wonderful thing for both of them, but also that his current teacher is skill at positive reenforcement and he is thriving with her. That giving him a chance to succeed is what has been making all the difference and was something that the Beats's former teachers failed to do over and over again.

Failure is a lot more draining then most people understand. And its failure I've been thinking about this past week following the news of this past week. Seeing the portrait of an individual who seemed to fail in all aspects in life and lacked some of the basic privileges most of us take for granted, I cannot help but wonder if a root of so much unhappiness is never feeling like there are any meaningful wins. I understand that most situations are extremely complex and seemingly impossible to tackle, but if infertility taught me one thing it's that those wins in the face of trauma can make the difference between getting out of bed in the morning vs losing one's mind.

So today, I'm back at it. Reaching out to total strangers and introducing myself as someone who thinks their company sounds pretty amazing (not hard to do). All on the heels of rewarding He-Beat for his good behavior this morning, watching his face light up with the knowledge of a job well done. All the while me knowing I can do this as I've gotten a recent boost of confidence and positive feedback as otherwise I would be kicking myself for being so bold.

These wins are making the difference.


  1. This is fantastic! Yes wins (or mastery, if we are talking skill development) are so important. So glad the Beats are going well and you’ve avoided an ADHD diagnosis with different behavioural technique. Wonder how many unnecessary diagnoses are made!

  2. It's amazing what a difference the right teacher with the right approach can make. :) And yes, we all need a win now & then to balance out the disappointments.

    I was reading an article online earlier today that made the point that most of these shooters are fuelled by anger, not so much mental illness. :( Makes sense to me.

  3. Good for you for reaching out to the CEO, and great sign that he responded!

    As an HR person, I can say that HR departments do a categorically horrid job of keeping candidates informed. We all understand the stress associated with applying (heck, we've all been applicants ourselves) and yet we don't improve. To be fair, many of the recruiters I know are routinely trying to fill 70-200 jobs at a time, which is impossible to do with the level of attention they'd like. Still, on behalf of HR, I apologize for the radio silence. We ought to do better, and you ought not to need letters.

  4. Love this idea of meaningful wins. I'm so glad you got a small one with that email, and hope that more are on their way. And so awesome that He-Beat is experiencing meaningful wins, too!

    So relevant after last week's tragedy.

  5. We need these little winds to balance the downsides. So glad to hear that He-Beat is thriving. Yay to good teachers!


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